Do animals use quantum information processing?

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From +plus Living Mathematics:

Organisms — humans, animals and arguably even plants — have a striking ability to predict what their environment might throw at them. They use information from the past to respond to cues in the world and learn from surprises, meaning that when they encounter similar situations again in the future, they can act faster and more appropriately. In fact, this so-called predictive inference is such an important skill that it helps organisms to stay alive. But Susanne Still and Gavin Crooks think that this ability might also hold the key to understanding how all types of living systems behave efficiently in the natural world — perhaps with a little help from quantum information processing. Their work may even reshape how we think about life itself.

The idea that living organisms use predictive inference to help them perform better in the future is relatively straightforward to grasp. A more radical notion is that this process might also be present at much smaller scales, down to the molecular complexes that perform specific tasks within the cells of living organisms, or the “machinery of life” as Still, an information and computer scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, refers to them. “Bio-molecular machines are the building blocks of our cells and there is evidence that they operate at very high energetic efficiency,” says Still.

Where does this efficiency come from? More.

Good question. Glad someone is asking.

This may or may not be the right direction but it sure beats Darwindunit: “Here’s the court order,” and forced funding of fake embryo drawings.

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13 Replies to “Do animals use quantum information processing?

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Wow, did not see the word “evolution” anywhere in this paper on how life works. Real Science. No magic.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    A more radical notion is that this process might also be present at much smaller scales, down to the molecular complexes that perform specific tasks within the cells of living organisms, or the “machinery of life” as Still, an information and computer scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, refers to them. “Bio-molecular machines are the building blocks of our cells and there is evidence that they operate at very high energetic efficiency,” says Still.

    Not only is there quantum information/entanglement involved in how molecular machines operate,,,

    Hiroyuki Matsuura, Nobuo Noda, Kazuharu Koide Tetsuya Nemoto and Yasumi Ito
    Excerpt from bottom page 7: Note that the physical principle of flagella motor does not belong to classical mechanics, but to quantum mechanics. When we can consider applying quantum physics to flagella motor, we can find out the shift of energetic state and coherent state.

    ,,,But there is also now found to be quantum information/entanglement involved in how proteins fold and operate and how DNA repairs itself and operates.

    First, it is important to learn that ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement (A. Aspect, A. Zeilinger, etc..) can be used as a ‘quantum information channel’,,,

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.

    The following study found both quantum and classical information to be within proteins:

    Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
    Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.

    The following study empirically confirmed quantum coherence to be within protein chains

    Coherent intrachain energy migration in a conjugated polymer at room temperature. – 2009
    ABSTRACT The intermediate coupling regime for electronic energy transfer is of particular interest because excitation moves in space, as in a classical hopping mechanism, but quantum phase information is conserved. We conducted an ultrafast polarization experiment specifically designed to observe quantum coherent dynamics in this regime. Conjugated polymer samples with different chain conformations were examined as model multichromophoric systems. The data, recorded at room temperature, reveal coherent intrachain, (intra – within, on the inside), electronic energy transfer. Our results suggest that quantum transport effects occur at room temperature when chemical donor-acceptor bonds help to correlate dephasing perturbations.

    here is the pre-revision paper

    Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73
    Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state.

    That proteins have ‘non-sequential’ quantum information maintaining the primary ‘form/shape’ of a protein as it operates, (information that resides ‘holistically’, as opposed to discretely and/or classically, along the entirety of the protein chain), was also demonstrated by the following study:

    Proteins with cruise control provide new perspective:
    Excerpt: “A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order.”

    It is also important to note the type of computation that quantum computation excels at compared to classical computation.
    Quantum computation excels at the ‘traveling salesman problems’ type of computations:

    Speed Test of Quantum Versus Conventional Computing: Quantum Computer Wins – May 8, 2013
    Excerpt: quantum computing is, “in some cases, really, really fast.”
    McGeoch says the calculations the D-Wave excels at involve a specific combinatorial optimization problem, comparable in difficulty to the more famous “travelling salesperson” problem that’s been a foundation of theoretical computing for decades.,,,
    “This type of computer is not intended for surfing the internet, but it does solve this narrow but important type of problem really, really fast,” McGeoch says. “There are degrees of what it can do. If you want it to solve the exact problem it’s built to solve, at the problem sizes I tested, it’s thousands of times faster than anything I’m aware of. If you want it to solve more general problems of that size, I would say it competes — it does as well as some of the best things I’ve looked at. At this point it’s merely above average but shows a promising scaling trajectory.”

    Scientists achieve critical steps to building first practical quantum computer – April 30, 2015
    Excerpt: If a quantum computer could be built with just 50 quantum bits (qubits), no combination of today’s TOP500 supercomputers could successfully outperform it (for certain tasks).

    ‘Traveling salesman problems’ are notorious for keeping classical supercomputers busy for days, and are ‘Just about the meanest problems you can set a computer (on)’.

    Tiny brained bees solve a complex mathematical problem – 25 October 2010
    Excerpt: “In nature, bees have to link hundreds of flowers in a way that minimises travel distance, and then reliably find their way home – not a trivial feat if you have a brain the size of a pinhead! Indeed such travelling salesmen problems keep supercomputers busy for days. Studying how bee brains solve such challenging tasks might allow us to identify the minimal neural circuitry required for complex problem solving.”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    DNA computer helps traveling salesman – Philip Ball – 2000
    Excerpt: Just about the meanest problems you can set a computer belong to the class called ‘NP-complete’. The number of possible answers to these conundrums, and so the time required to find the correct solution, increases exponentially as the problem is scaled up in size. A famous example is the ‘travelling salesman’ puzzle, which involves finding the shortest route connecting all of a certain number of cities.,,,
    Solving the traveling-salesman problem is a little like finding the most stable folded shape of a protein’s chain-like molecular structure — in which the number of ‘cities’ can run to hundreds or even thousands.

    Moreover, the mystery of how a protein folds is a ‘traveling salesman’ type problem:

    Confronting Science’s Logical Limits – John L. Casti – 1996
    Excerpt: It has been estimated that a supercomputer applying plausible rules for protein folding would need 10^127 years to find the final folded form for even a very short sequence consisting of just 100 amino acids. (The universe is 13.7 x 10^9 years old). In fact, in 1993 Aviezri S. Fraenkel of the University of Pennsylvania showed that the mathematical formulation of the protein-folding problem is computationally “hard” in the same way that the traveling-salesman problem is hard.

    Protein folding is found to be ‘NP-complete’

    Combinatorial Algorithms for Protein Folding in Lattice
    Models: A Survey of Mathematical Results – 2009
    Excerpt: Protein Folding: Computational Complexity
    NP-completeness: from 10^300 to 2 Amino Acid Types
    NP-completeness: Protein Folding in Ad-Hoc Models
    NP-completeness: Protein Folding in the HP-Model

    Protein folding is now empirically confirmed to belong to the world of quantum information, not to the world of classical information.

    Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011
    Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.
    Excerpt: First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from.
    To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,,
    Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins.
    That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics.

    Thus we have very good evidence that proteins are finding their final folded form by some method of quantum computation. ,,,,
    Of note, as is usual with findings in molecular biology, this far exceeds anything man has yet accomplished in regards to quantum computation although billions of dollars have been spent trying to build quantum computers!

    As well, quantum information/entanglement has now been found in both DNA and protein molecules:

    Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.

    Does DNA Have Telepathic Properties?-A Galaxy Insight – 2009
    Excerpt: DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn’t be able to.,,, The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.

    Another monster type ‘traveling salesman problem’ is encountered in DNA repair:

    Quantum Dots Spotlight DNA-Repair Proteins in Motion – March 2010
    Excerpt: “How this system works is an important unanswered question in this field,” he said. “It has to be able to identify very small mistakes in a 3-dimensional morass of gene strands. It’s akin to spotting potholes on every street all over the country and getting them fixed before the next rush hour.” Dr. Bennett Van Houten – of note: A bacterium has about 40 team members on its pothole crew. That allows its entire genome to be scanned for errors in 20 minutes, the typical doubling time.,, These smart machines can apparently also interact with other damage control teams if they cannot fix the problem on the spot.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    DNA repair machines ‘Fixing every pothole in America before the next rush hour’ is obviously a monster traveling salesman type problem.
    Since it is obvious that there is not a material CPU (central processing unit) in the DNA, or cell, busily computing answers to this monster logistic problem, in a purely ‘material/classical’ fashion, by crunching bits, then it is readily apparent that this monster ‘traveling salesman problem’, for DNA repair, is must be computed (and implemented) by some method ‘non-local’ quantum computation within the cell and/or within DNA.
    Besides DNA repair, I hold that quantum information is also heavily implicated in how DNA operates in its ‘normal’ operation:

    Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: At the megabase scale, the chromatin conformation is consistent with a fractal globule, a knot-free, polymer conformation that enables maximally dense packing while preserving the ability to easily fold and unfold any genomic locus.

    3-D Structure Of Human Genome: Fractal Globule Architecture Packs Two Meters Of DNA Into Each Cell – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: the information density in the nucleus is trillions of times higher than on a computer chip — while avoiding the knots and tangles that might interfere with the cell’s ability to read its own genome. Moreover, the DNA can easily unfold and refold during gene activation, gene repression, and cell replication.

    Scientists’ 3-D View of Genes-at-Work Is Paradigm Shift in Genetics – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: Highly coordinated chromosomal choreography leads genes and the sequences controlling them, which are often positioned huge distances apart on chromosomes, to these ‘hot spots’. Once close together within the same transcription factory, genes get switched on (a process called transcription) at an appropriate level at the right time in a specific cell type. This is the first demonstration that genes encoding proteins with related physiological role visit the same factory.

    That level of operational organizational complexity in DNA simply trounces, by many orders of magnitude, anything man has ever built.

    Moreover, that ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints (Bell, Aspect, Leggett, Zeilinger, etc..), should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule, is a direct empirical falsification of Darwinian claims, for how can the ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place?
    Appealing to the probability of various ‘random’ configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply!

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – Jun 11, 2013
    Excerpt:– requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,

    etc.. etc..

    In other words, to give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!

    And although Naturalists have proposed various, far fetched, naturalistic scenarios to try to get around the Theistic implications of quantum non-locality, none of the ‘far fetched’ naturalistic solutions, in themselves, are compatible with the reductive materialism that undergirds neo-Darwinian thought.

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism By Bruce L Gordon, Ph.D
    Excerpt: The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.

    Thus, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, Neo-Darwinism is falsified in its claim that all information in biology is ‘emergent’ from a reductive material basis.

    Besides providing direct empirical falsification of neo-Darwinian claims as to the generation of information, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’ quantum information in molecular biology on a massive scale is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)

    Verse and Music:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

    MercyMe – Beautiful

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Checkpoints and Repair Systems as Evidence for Design – July 10, 2015
    Excerpt: As we see, living cells employ forward-thinking and backward-thinking strategies. Both strategies require planning outside the immediate situation; they have to “know” the consequences of not meeting requirements or allowing defects to go uncorrected.,,,
    Be it a Rube Goldberg machine or robotic assembly line, any process involving a sequence of events that must occur without error to succeed we know from experience involved planning by a mind….

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    podcast – Dolphins’ Sonar Systems and Illustra Documentary Living Waters
    In this episode of ID the Future, hear about dolphins’ unique sonar systems, as highlighted in Dr. Geoffrey Simmons’ book, Billions of Missing Links.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    Why should quantum information processing be restricted to animals?

  8. 8
    Robert Byers says:

    Its not predictive inference. its just plain memory. The memory is not seen for its power in biology still these days.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Interesting research, as far as I can tell. Not seeing anything that contradicts evolution or how the question of Haeckel’s embryo drawings is related.

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky @9

    Not seeing anything that contradicts evolution…

    Nothing contradicts evolution, seen as an ‘all inclusive’ idea.

    BTW, would you mind answering the questions @2 in the following link? Thanks.

  11. 11
    ppolish says:

    The study does not contradict evolution because evolution is off the table. NS & RM are irrelevant. They are not needed to explain how life obtains its complexity. You can be sure the next step in their funded study will NOT be watching E. coli for 30 years lol.

  12. 12
    ppolish says:

    “Still and Crooks have now won a grant of almost $130,000 from the Foundational Questions Institute to find out whether their ideas are right. A major aim of their project is to find out whether systems can do better in terms of energy efficiency if they are capable of using predictive inference. “We want to look at whether the machinery of life can do something that smart on every scale,” says Still. “If so, is predictive inference one of the things that distinguishes the machinery of life? That would be a fascinating insight.”””

    Predictive inference? At bio machinery level?
    Predictive inference is math speak for “guided evolution” isn’t it? Should be an interesting and important study. From Math People – who “don’t understand evolution”.

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    ppolish @11

    They are not needed to explain how life obtains its complexity.

    Where is that explanation? Has anyone seen it?
    There are propositions, suggestions, speculations, but no comprehensive coherent explanation that can pass the fundamental tests “where’s the beef?” and “show me the money!” 🙂

    ppolish @12

    Should be an interesting and important study.

    Yes, can’t wait to see their results, which probably will shed more light on the elaborate molecular and cellular choreographies orchestrated within the biological systems. Outstanding questions will get answered, new questions will get raised.
    URotUR 🙂

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